Twitter is starting a service in the UK where services can immediately send emergency alerts and messages with their own special ‘flags’ on people’s twitter feeds. A cracking idea, after all twitter has been a serious tool in helping to improve communication for the immediate moment over the last few years, whether for the good or bad. By its nature twitter is fast and snappy and now popular, the perfect medium to get urgent and life-saving messages out there.

It’s good to see the tools of modern media used like this to help real life. Society is now familiar with the internet and social media that it’s almost taken for granted, like the electricity and gas to your building, and even telephone line – so why not start using it like this.

In the news article on the BBC news website there was an interesting stat with 75% of twitter users apparently accessing the website from the mobile phones – a mega shift in the use of the internet on mobile phones, only just being tapped into, and known as ‘mobile marketing’ in the industry. Smart phones with internet are becoming more important for using the internet, particularly for that instant communication that micro-blogging platform Twitter can bring.

Another interesting point is the format in which communication can take place, including text messages and push notifications.

Taking this principle of using modern media to help with communication (in this example rapid and important communication), here are a few more lessons we can all learn on the same lines when applying it to websites and the internet:

1. Are there important updates, news, ‘emergencies’ that our audience would like and infact need to know.

2. Can we simply re-communicate existing information but in a different means, rather than re-invent the wheel with new information. So as an example, a regular email newsletter simply summarising the important updates in a market place for easy consumption by the reader.

3. Can we improve the way we communicate through websites – a submit-information form rather than stumbling through sending an email, or a live-chat Skype-type talk option, or a good old fashioned phone number to call on the telephone (an important factor often missed)

4. Is there a particular type of social media or internet platform that will work better and that your target audience is basically using.

These are important factors to consider and get right at the beginning. I’ve said it before - it’s not so much the look of websites and internet nowadays that counts, it’s the way they are used and communicated and interacted with by people that counts.